Earlier this year, Kitchen Kaboodle a Portland, OR upscale kitchen retailer, got some major buzz for a very amazing thing.
They decided to close their retail store three days a week, opening their doors Thursday-Sunday only.
The co-owner, John Whistler, said that it was because of market demand. Customers wanted lower prices. Cutting expenses elsewhere wasn’t feasible. So, they closed during their slowest days.
I’ve been chewing on this story for a long time. Stories like this upset me – there are far too many small local businesses that are suffering right now. The good news is that these folks came up with a workable solution. Closing the retail store three days a week may indeed be the perfect alternative to a recession-mindset economy.
And then I looked at their Website. And I wonder, “If their site was optimized, would that help replace the income they’re missing three days a week? If they invested a little bit of time and cash into their site, could that help take their business in a new (and profitable) direction?”
The answer is yes – and that’s very exciting.
I spent 10 minutes reviewing the site and came up with three SEO copywriting opportunities. Here are some things that Kitchen Kaboodle can try:
- Create keyphrase-rich content. The Kitchen Kaboodle product pages have very little text. Outside of how this is (most likely) limiting their conversions, the lack of keyphrase-rich content is hobbling their search engine rankings. For instance, this page sells “martini glasses” – yet there’s no content about “martini glasses” above the fold.
In fact, the only (very short) description is below the fold.
Ecommerce sites can also look beyond their product pages, and build out unique content that they know their customers will enjoy. For instance, Sur La Table has recipies. Cookware.com features product reviews from publications like The New York Times and Ebony. Strategic content marketing allows companies to capitalize on keyphrases used at all phases of the buy cycle. This means that Kitchen Kaboodle could have articles dedicated to, say, cookware reviews – and people who are looking for cookware reviews could click through from the SERP, read the article and immediately make a purchase.
To their credit, it looks like they’ve built out unique content on some product pages, and they’ve tried to insert keyphrases (although they’re doing it in a way that’s not very effective.) This certainly helps them, but they’d have better results if they…
- …made their Titles descriptive and keyphrase-rich. Having the same Titles across the site is a huge SEO no-no that’s definitely hurting their positions. Their pages are going to have a much, much better chance of positioning if the Titles contained keyphrases and reflected the page content.
However, even if a page does position well (as this page did for “Silicone Madelaine” – a product search,) there’s nothing about the Title that provides further details or encourages click-through – especially when compared to the SERP competition:
Notice the second SERP result – it’s keyphrase rich and highly detailed. Which one would you click?
- Consider adding customer reviews. Study after study indicates that people are more apt to convert when they can read customer product reviews. That by itself is an excellent reason to build community and ask for feedback – people can read more about the cool kitchen gadget they want and buy it right away. Additionally, consumer reviews are also great for gaining new search positions (think about how many times you enter a site from a review listing on the SERP.) This would help them fill some content and keyphrase “holes” until they had a chance to expand their product content.
Is there more that Kitchen Kaboodle can do from a SEO, SEM and social media perspective? Definitely. Certainly, if they wanted to grow their online orders, they could transform their site into a high-performing ecommerce kitchenware destination. It may not be where they want to focus their efforts or budget. After all, Kitchen Kaboodle is a “local” store, so a national focus may not be their cup of tea. At the same time, in the spirit of “controlling the controllables,” it’s always nice to know there’s another way to gain new customers.